LAHORE: Zameen.com, Pakistan’s real estate portal, has announced that it has closed its ‘Series C’ funding round with a $20-million inflow from one of its current investors, a fund which focuses on frontier and emerging markets with over $1 billion in assets under management.
The Series C funding is the third time the property portal has pumped funding into its business.
The investment has gone into the website’s parent company, Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG), formerly Zamzama Property Group, which owns and controls online property portals in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The funding comes at the heels of a recent $9-million investment, which was announced in September 2015, bringing the total funds raised by the portal in the last 6 months to $29 million.
Zameen.com was founded in Pakistan by Ali Khan brothers in 2006. It received its first angel investment from the French property portal authority Gilles Blanchard in 2012, followed by a Series A round in 2014 and sizeable Series B round in 2015. The portal has undergone impressive growth over the last year, expanding its team from 90 employees at the start of 2014 to over 500 people across Pakistan currently.
Zameen.com CEO Zeeshan Ali Khan said the portal’s continued success was proof that homegrown service providers would always triumph because of an innate understanding of the consumers’ needs.
“Investors can easily identify the confidence that comes with knowing what you’re doing. We’re Pakistanis who’ve built a product for Pakistanis, so the people have responded to it tremendously well,” said Khan.
“With this incoming investment, we aim to own the Pakistani real estate space completely so that every Pakistani has a convenient, easily accessible, one-stop shop for all things real estate. The ultimate goal has always been to solve the problem we saw at the outset, and we’re closer to doing that now than ever before,” he added.
Khan further said that the investment would be spent on EMPG’s existing ventures in Pakistan and UAE, as well as on launching new ventures in Bangladesh and the Middle East.
Zameen.com dominates Pakistan’s online real estate market by a wide margin, with over 3 million monthly visits, a field presence across 30 cities, and 9,000 real estate agencies on board.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2016.